How to enable Alexa person and bundle ads from security cameras on Echo smart speakers

You may already be familiar with telling your Alexa smart speaker what to do: Play your Spotify playlist, set a timer for boiled eggs, and turn on the smart lights. But you might not know that the voice assistant has a number of proactive features — things it can do without being asked.

One such feature is the presence of an Amazon Echo speaker that announces when motion is detected on a compatible security camera. Motion ads work on a slew of Alexa-compatible cameras, and as of last week, include the latest Google Nest cameras. But now, thanks to a recent update, the Echo speakers can also announce when the smart camera sees a person or a bundle on some devices. In addition, it can also automatically display a live feed from this security camera on any Echo Show device, so you can take a look without having to do or say anything.

People and package discovery is currently limited to certain Ring models, with cameras from Google Nest and Abode coming soon (see sidebar below). No matter which camera you have, the steps for enabling advertising features are the same.

Alexa can now make an announcement when Ring’s security cameras and doorbell cameras see a person. It will soon integrate with cameras from Google Nest and Abode.
Photo by Jennifer Bateson Tohey/The Verge

Before you can enable this feature, you’ll also need to have at least one smart speaker or smart display, an Amazon Alexa account, and activate the Alexa skill for your camera. You will also need to enable person and/or beam detection on the compatible camera. This may require payment for a subscription to the camera manufacturer, for example, Ring cameras require a Ring Protect plan starting at $3 per month.

  • Open the Alexa smartphone app
  • handle Hardware
  • Scroll through the menu at the top of the app and select cameras
  • Select the camera you want to detect the person and/or package
  • Click on Settings Icon in the upper right corner
  • under camera events, toggle on Person detection ads Wow Packet detection ads (if an option)
  • Tip: Click Camera Events Settings > People Detection > Cameras To quickly enable the feature on all your compatible cameras

Steps to enable person and/or package discovery in the Alexa app.

  • To identify the Echo device(s) in your home that are making the ad, go to the same Settings page and tap Advertising devices
  • Select which Echo speaker or display you want to announce. You can choose more than one. If you select a smart display, it will output a live broadcast from the camera as well as advertising.

You can use an ad as a trigger for your Alexa Routine – so, for example, you can turn on a porch light when the camera detects a person. Ring cameras also have the option to see and review a timeline of all the events that led to an ad — you can find the feature on the Camera page in the Alexa app.

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